The How Do You Say It? project began in January 2014. It is my first full fledged DH project and is taking me through a rich, transformative journey that has already, and will continue to, revolutionized the ways I think about my discipline, my contribution to the profession, my teaching and my presence in the community. This past year was an incredible exercise in living, working, interacting and thriving out of my comfort zone. The concrete deliverables my team and I have produced need no more introduction. But what I take away with me widely transcends their boundaries: the year has been illuminating and has made me stronger, more open and more flexible in all aspects of my life. None of this would have ever been possible without the support, the companionship, the compassionate ears, the spoiling, the laughter and the well stocked wine cellars of many many friends, most of them not directly related to the project.
My deepest gratitude, as usual :-), goes to my daughter, Amelia Riely, without whose far reaching dreams this project would have never been conceptualized.
I am forever indebted to Pam Lach, MY Project Manager (I love to say that!), whose indefatigable work fuels the core of this project. Pam has adopted me and has patiently guided me through the foreign land of DH skills. She has taught me a completely new way to imagine the possibilities of my work, she has shown me how to be productive and determined in the face of continuous uncertainty, and she has given me a wonderful role-model to imitate when claiming my own niche among the women in DH.
A special thanks goes to the Fall 2014 IAH Faculty Fellows, Anna Agbe-Davies, Stephen Anderson, Cemil Aydin, Anne McNeil, Townsend Middleton, Chérie Rivers Ndaliko, Jennifer Smith and the awesome Michelle Berger. With them I shared week after week the progress of our own personal intellectual enquiry. To them I am now indelibly bonded. In particular the dialogue that I engaged with Anne McNeil was crucial to my feeling of belonging to a pioneering community of scholars who is shaping new directions in the study of the Humanities.
Karina Aybar, Cecilia Gastón and Rosie Hidalgo welcomed me to their Network, championed the project and devised ideas for future collaboration.
My Framily, Hélène de Fays, Cristina Carrasco, Abel Muñoz-Hermoso, Oswaldo Estrada, Otto and Paloma, individually and together nurtured my body, my heart and my soul.
James Hohlt accompanied me for the majority of the journey, dealt lovingly with my reactions to unforeseen challenges, and always offered a synchronous and constructive new perspective.
David Blaker, Alan Konell and Chuck Willlingham offered continuous intellectual stimulus, articulate conversation, applicable suggestions and plenty of coffee, wine and affection.
My teacher, Dara Fort, and my Ashtanga group reminded me of the importance of breathing, relaxing and enjoy what is while venturing in new territory.
James Riely and Maureen Carroll, Daria Borghese and my Dad, Luciano Binotti, generously offered their homes and their food during some of my trips.
A final thanks goes to Stewart Varner who came to my rescue during the last phase of the process and prepared the linguistic corpus for the Voyant text analysis.
This project could not have been possible without the generous support of the Carolina Digital Humanities Initiative (CDHI), a Andrew W. Mellon-funded initiative to create a sustainable model of digital humanities at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It is under the auspices of the CDHI’s Digital Innovation Lab/Institute for the Arts and Humanities Faculty Fellowship program that I have had the opportunity to learn and explore while developing this project. Additional thanks goes to the Institute for the Arts and Humanities, who provided the project funds for me to complete this first phase of the project.
– Lucia Binotti